Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day Celebration at City Hall

No recipes, just announcements (still studying):

If you live, school, or work downtown, drop by the front plaza of City Hall from 10 am-2 pm tomorrow, April 22, for a Mini Farmers Market, featuring several favorite local farmers and vendors.  Memphis Mayor A C Wharton invited the MFM to participate in this celebration in honor of Earth Day.  This would be a great way to take a study break, or a fun place to pop by on your lunch break!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Eating Locally: Is it Worth It?

Dear all,

I admit, when I decided to concentrate on eating as exclusively as I could from my community, I had my doubts about the economics of it.  Extoll the virtues of edible vitamins now, fewer doctor visits later all you want---the fact of the matter is, I'm a grad student and I've got a finite budget.  I got curious.  So every week, after my market visit, I totaled up how much I'd spent, where I bought from, and any free or discounted items I received.  I also saved my receipts from any grocery or alcohol purchase (just keeping myself honest here).

Well, today marks the beginning of a new market calendar year, so yeah, while I should be studying Secured Transactions, I'm totaling up my own.  Here are the basic results.  Might do something more comprehensive later.

Market Expenditures, April 2009-October 2009
$398.43

Grocery Expenditures, April 2009-April 2010
$629.13

Total:
$1,027.56

Minus the one month I spent at my parents' house in Florida, where my meals were provided for me, that works out to roughly $93.41 per month, $23.35 per week, $3.34 per day, or $1.11 per meal.  For one year.  Granted, my diet is mostly vegetarian and I was tossed a few aforementioned free* or discounted** items.  But that ain't bad.  I know someone who pays more than that for frozen Banquet dinners at Walgreens.

All in all, I'm happy to say that it was worth it for me.  Others may disagree, and say that the time it takes to cook raw ingredients is time better spent on more productive pursuits.  But cooking can be a leisure activity far more satisfying than television (at least, it is for me), a form of therapy, and a stress relief.  Maybe I could have worked more during the hours I spent cooking.  But I'm a happier person because I didn't.  And I don't really think you can put a value on that.

*free items included: bunch radishes, handful green beans, 3 new potatoes, head of lettuce, 1 pear, loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, 1 globe eggplant, 4 ears corn, 1 zucchini, 1 bunch bok choy.  We have incredibly generous farmers in our region.  I also grew some of my own food and was supplemented by the free edible garden at the University of Memphis (another extremely valuable resource).
**discounts for the season totaled $6.84

Sunday, April 11, 2010

MFM Reopening 2010

Hey all---I'm still here, but in underground-mode. It's exam season and the terrible reality is that in two weeks someone is going to ask me how to secure a transaction and I am going to have to know how to do that.*

But I also wanted to let everyone know that the Memphis Farmers Market is reopening this coming Saturday, April 17, at 7 am, and will go until 1 pm. The board is planning an Earth Day celebration and there will be a greens-growing workshop for kids. Or if you just want to buy your greens, there will be plenty of them: kale, lettuces, arugula, green onions and garlic, radishes and their greens, and baby swiss chard. Personally, I can't wait to stock up on chevre from Bonnie Blue Farms.

There are several new farmers markets opening in Memphis this spring, so when I return I'll have a report on those!

Oh yeah, I passed the ethics part of the bar. Whew! Wish me luck, and see you in about a month.

* File a UCC1. Always. File. a UCC1.